A telling of the dragon Raphael that guards the Great Portal of an English Cathedral—apparently a first book drawn from the author’s own childhood visits to castles and cathedrals around England. This one, a cathedral decked out with griffins and eagles and monsters, most acting as waterspouts to keep rain from washing out the mortar, took centuries to build; Raphael, however, has no such builder’s job, and over the decades of his guarding he has gathered only a relentless boredom. If only he had a Noble Task! Fruitlessly, he goes about the cathedral, asking all the statuary for some way out of his tedium. Then his Noble Task appears: a starving young mother leaves her new baby in the cathedral’s foundling box. Raphael chooses to protect the child, taking it up into the High Reaches. His problems, though, have only begun, and he fears that he’ll be branded as an evil dragon. According to the publisher, Salton reads this to her young son over the Christmas holidays. It could well take ten bedtimes to read aloud and lapse into a stately tread that has its narcotic usefulness.